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Coins of Rome about Parthia:
Septimius Severus (A.D. 193-211)

Lucius Septimius Severus was a outstanding soldier and held increasingly important commands until, at the death of Commodus, he was governor of Upper Pannonia. He expressed his allegiance to Pertinax, but after his murder and the shameful elevation of Didius Julianus, Severus was saluted as emperor by the troops at Carnuntum. He rapidly disposed of Julianus, Niger, and later defeated Clodius Albinus. Severus spent much of his time campaigning in different parts of the Empire including Britain where there was an unrest after a great invasion of barbarians. He repaired Hadrian’s Wall and invaded Caledonia but without much success. The strain on the old emperor was too much and he died at York.

While Severus had been engaged in his war with Pescennius Niger in 194, he made a punitive raid across the Euphrates to punish Vologases IV for offering support to Niger. This successful campaign added Osrhoene and Adiabene to the Roman empire. In 196, Vologases took advantage of Severus' preoccupation with the struggle against Albinus to invade and recover his lost provinces. He was not to retain them for long, however. Severus returned to the region in 197, and quickly expelled the Parthians. He then invaded Parthia itself, and destroyed the Parthians at Ctesiphon. He made his way slowly back to Rome, arriving in A.D. 202. His son Antoninus (nicknamed Caracalla) was made Augustus in A.D. 197 (aged about 9), and shared in the triumph of A.D. 202.

PART ARAB and PART ADIAB refer to Severus' victory titles "Pathicus Arabicus" and "Parthicus Adiabenicus" taken in A.D. 195. I'm not sure if this means just some area of Parthia, or it was just to differentiate two different campaigns. The ARAB ADAIB legend may also refer to the victory over Pescennius Niger. To obscure the fact this was actually a civil war, Severus phrased the victory as being over the Parthian controlled areas of the Arabians and Adiabenians, who aided Niger's cause, and were later  punished by punitive expeditions.

See the biography of Septimius Severus at De Imperatoribus Romanis, an online encyclopedia of Roman emperors.

TR P refers to the tribune power of the emperor, and indicates the year. It may appear on the obverse or reverse. Dating can also be done from consulships (COS) and imperatorial acclamations (IMP):

TR P IIII = A.D. 196
TR P VI = A.D. 198
TR P VIIII = A.D. 201
TR P X = A.D. 202

Coins in the Name of Septimius Severus

Click on coin catalog links to view images:

Catalog Denom Inscription Reverse Type

Septimius Severus  A.D. 193-211

BMC 378.121 aureus L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / AEQVITATI AVGG Aequitas stand. L holding scales and cornucopiae
RIC4 55 aureus PART ARAB PART ADIAB COS II PP trophy & captives
RIC4 135A
BMC 287.668v
aureus L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / MONETA AVGG Moneta seated L holding scales and a cornucopia
RIC4 142b aureus VICT PARTHICAE Victory advancing L
RIC4 195B aureus VICTORIA PARTHICA MAXIMA "
RIC4 295 aureus VICT PART MAX "
RIC4 297 aureus VICTORIA PARTHICA MAXIMA "
RIC4 311 aureus IMPP INVICTI PII AVGG / VICTORIA PARTHICA MAXIMA Obverse has jugate heads with Caracalla / Victory advancing L with wreath in R and palm in L
BMC 285.653 aureus L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / CONCORDIAE MILITVM Concordia stand. holding vertical standard in each hand
BMC 179.142 aureus L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / VIRTVS AVG Septimius on horse prancing R brandishing javelin towards foe on his knees
BMC 205.265 aureus IMPP INVICTI P II AVGG / VICTORIA PARTHICA MAXIMA Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm
RIC4 512 aureus PART MAXIMVS COS II PP trophy & captives
BMC 191.184 aureus SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / AETERNIT IMPERI Caracalla and Geta busts confronted
BMC 192.189 aureus SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / FVNDATOR PACIS Septimius stand. front, veiled, holding branch in R and roll in L
BMC 192.192 aureus SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / IVLIA AVGVSTA Julia Domna bust dr. r.
BMC.193.200
BMC 194.201
aureus SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / RESTITVTOR VRBIS Septimius sacrificing L with patera over lighted tripod, holding sceptre in L (see C 598)
Hill 187 aureus SEVERVS PIVS AVG / P M TR P X COS III P P Victory adv. L holding garland over shield on cippus; on shield, VIC PAR
BMC 223.365
   note
aureus SEVERVS PIVS AVG / VICT PART MAX Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm
BMC 285.654 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / CONCORDIAE MILITVM Concordia stand. holding vertical standard in each hand
ANS
1956.127.1258
denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP PART MA X / RACI AVGVSTI Pax seated L holding branch in R and cornucopiae in L
RIC4 50 denarius L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VII / ARAB ADIAB COS II P P Victory advancing L, holding wreath and trophy
RIC4 51 denarius L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP VIII / ARAB ADIAB COS II P P Victory advancing L, holding wreath and trophy
RIC4 62
RIC4 63
denarius L SEPT SEV PART AVG IMP V / PART ARAB PART ADIAB COS II in ex.; two captives, seated back to back, each on a shield
RIC4 90 denarius PART MAX PONT TR P IIII "
BMC 40.118
BMC 40.120
denarius L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP V / PART ARAB PART ADIAB COS II P P trophy in center flanked by captive on either side;  S C in field
BMC 280.625 denarius L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP XI / PAR AR AD TR P VI COS II P P Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm
RIC4 121 denarius VICT PARTHICAE Victory advancing L
RIC4 142a
  BMC 672
denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / VICT PARTHICAE Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm, captive seated on ground L
BMC 178.137 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / VICT PARTHICAE Victory advancing L holding wreath and tropny, captive on ground L
RIC4 514 denarius VICT PARTHICAE Victory advancing L, COS II PP in exergue; trophy and two captives
BMC.177.133 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / MONETA AVGG Moneta seated L holding scales and a cornucopia
BMC 287.669 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / MONETA AVG Moneta seated L holding scales and a cornucopia
BMC 286.660 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MX / IVSTITIA Justicia seated L on throne, holds patera in R hand, sceptre in L
RIC 125a
BMC 285.655
denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / COS II P P Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm
BMC.182.151 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / P M TR P VII COS II P P Fortuna stand. front, holding cornucopiae and rudder, prow to L
RIC4 150 denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / PM TR P VIII COS II P P Victory advancing L holding wreath, before her a shield on base
BMC 286.657
BMC 286.659
denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / COS III P P Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm
BMC 176.127 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / FORTVNAE AVGG Fortuna stand. front, holding cornucopiae and rudder, prow L
BMC 177.132 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / LIBERTAS AVGG Libertas stand. L holding pileus and rod
BMC 286.663 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / LIBERTAS AVGG Libertas stand. front, holding pileus and rod (vindicta)
ANS
1986.69.62
denarius
forgery
L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PARTH MAX / LIBERTAS AVGG Libertas stand. L holding pileus in R and sceptre in L
BMC 177.133 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / MARTI VICTORI Mars stand. R holding shield and spear
BMC 179.141 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / VIRT AVGG Virtus stand. front, holding Victory and spear, shield set on ground
RIC4 153 denarius PART MAX PM TR P VIIII two Parthian captives seated at foot of trophy
ANS
1994.21.17
denarius
forgery
SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / CONCORDIA AVG Concordia seated L on throne holding patera in R and double cornucopiae in L [manufactured in Bulgaria, 1990s]
ANS
0000.999.30965
denarius
forgery
SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / FVNDATOR PACIS Male figure holding branch
BMC 192.190
RIC 160
denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / FVNDATOR PACIS Septimius stand. front, veiled, holding branch in R and roll in L
BMC 192.193 denarius (base) SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / IVLIA AVGVSTA Julia Domna bust dr. r.
RIC4 167a
Image
denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / RESTITVTOR VRBIS Severus stand. L holding sceptre, sacrificing over altar
BMC 194.209
RIC 170
denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / VICT AETERN Victory adv. L holding in both hands long ribbon over round shield set on base
RIC4 171
RSC 761
BMC.195.211
denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / VIRT AVGG Roma (Virtus?) stand. L holding Victory and resting on shield, spear upight against left arm
BMC 191.185 denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / ANNONAE AVGG Annona seated R holding corn in fold of dress, at feet R, modius and corn-ears
BMC 193.194 denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / MONETA AVGG Moneta stand. front holding scales and cornucopiae
BMC 193.196 denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / MONETA AVGG Moneta seated L holding scales and cornucopiae
BMC 189.175 denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / P M TR P VIII COS II P P Victory advancing L holding ribbon over shield set on low base
RIC4 176
RSC 370
Sear 1767
BMC 203.256
denarius SEVERVS PIVS AVG / PART MAX PM TR P VIIII two Parthian captives seated at foot of trophy
RIC4 184 denarius PART MAX PM TR P X "
BMC 231.383
BMC 231.385
denarius SEVERUS PIVS AVG / PART MAX P M TR P X trophy between two captives
RIC4 185 denarius SEVERVS PIVS AVG / PART MAX PM TR P X COS III PP two Parthian captives seated at foot of trophy
Sear 1788
RSC 454
denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / PM TR P VIII COS II PP Victory advancing L holding wreath over shield set on base
Image denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / PM TR P VIIII COS III PP Victory advancing L holding palm and shield
BMC.193.202
BMC 194.203
denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / RESTITVTOR VRBIS Septimius sacrificing L with patera over lighted tripod, holding sceptre [RESTITVTO RI VRBIS seen on a BMC 203 var]
RIC4 295
RIC4 295
RIC4 295
RSC 744
RSC 744
BMC 223.365
denarius SEVERVS PIVS AVG / VICT PART MAX Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm branch
ANS
1986.69.63
denarius
forgery
SEVERVS PIVS AVG / VICT PART MAX Victory adv. L holding wreath in R and palm in L
RIC4 296 denarius SEVERVS PIVS AVG / VICTORIA PARTH MAX Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm branch
RIC4 297 denarius VICTORIA PARTHICA MAXIMA "
RIC4 311 denarius " "
RIC4 321 denarius PART MAX PONT TR P IIII trophy & captives
RIC4 495 denarius PAR AR AD TR P VI COS II PP Victory advancing L
RIC4 496 denarius L SEPT SEVERVS PER AVG PM IMP XI / PAR AR AD TRP VI Victory advancing L, COS II PP in exergue; trophy and two captives
Sear 1791
Sear 1791
BMC 178.139
BMC 288.678
denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / VICTORIAE AVGG FEL Victory advancing L holding ribbon over round shield set on low base
Image denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / FVNDATOR PACIS Severus stand. L holding olive branch
BMC 297.725 denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX P M TR P VIIII / COS II P P Victory advancing L holding wreath and palm
Sear 1767 denarius SEVERVS PIVS AVG / PART MAX PM TR P VIIII trophy with two captives seated at base
RIC 122c
BMC 175.122
denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / AEQVITATI AVGG Equity stand. L holding scales and cornucopiae; also BMC 285.650
BMC 285.652 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / ANNONAE AVGG Annona stg. front, holding two corn-ears and cornucopiae
BMC 176.132 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / IOVI PROPVGNATORI Jupiter advancing r. brandishing thunderbolt
BMC 294.712 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / P MAX TR P VIII COS II P P Fides stand. front, holding plate of fruit and corn-ears
BMC 294.712n
RIC 511b
denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / P MAX TR P VIII COS II P P Fides stand. L holding basket of fruit in R and grain stalks in L
Cohen 576
BMC 177.134
BMC.177.135
denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / PROFECT AVGG FEL Emperor on horse prancing R holding spear
BMC 177.136 denarius L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX / PROVID AVGG Providentia stand. front, holding wand over globe, and sceptre
ANS
0000.999.30972
denarius
AE forgery
SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / PROVID AVG Female figure w/ spear and sword
BMC 193.197 denarius SEVERVS AVG PART MAX / PROVID AVGG Providentia stand. front, holding wand over globe and sceptre
RIC4 690 sestertius PART ARAB PART ADIAB COS II PP S C trophy & captives
RIC4 754 sestertius VICT PARTHIC AVGG PM TR P VIIII S C Victory running R
RIC4 690b
BMC 557
BMC 137.555
RIC 691
sestertius
AE 31
L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP V / PART ARAB PART ADIAB COS
II PP
trophy in center flanked by captive on either side;  S C in field
RIC4 696 dupondius L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP V / PART ARAB PART ADIAB COS
II P P
trophy & 2 captives
RIC4 828 as VIC PAR MAX AVG S C Victory in fast biga R
Schweizer
Münzblatter
108 (1976), p. 32
billon
tetradr
ΑΥΤ Κ Λ ΣΕΠ ΣΕΥΗ ΕΥΣΕ ΠΕΡΤ ΣΕΒ ΑΡ [ΠΑΡ ΜΓ] / ΙΟΥΛΙΛ . ΔΟΜΝΑ . ΣΕΒ ΜΗΤ ΣΤΡΑΤ draped bust of Julia Domna r.; L H before
    L SEP SEVERVS PER AVG PM IMP XI PAR DN  
    L SEP SEVERVS PER AVG PV IMP XI PAR PM  
    L SEP SEVERVS PER AVG PM IMP XI PART MAX  
    L SEP SEVERVS PER AVG PIV PM IMP XI PART MAX  
    L SEPT SEV AVG IMP X PART MAX  
    L SEPT SEVERVS AVG PART MAX PM TR P VIIII  
    L SEPT SEVERVS PIVS AVG IMP XI PART MAX  
    SEP SEVERVS PERT AVG IMP XI PAR P MAX  
    SEVERVS AVG PART MAX PM TR P VIIII  
Catalog Denom Inscription Reverse Type

The images are used by permission of their copyright owners. See the Coins of Rome about Parthia index page for a listing of these generous individuals, dealers and institutions.


This page last updated 24 Sep 2012

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Online since 28 March 1998
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